The Myth Of Montana’s Republican Super Majority

by Travis Mateer

This picture was taken outside the Hilton on Friday after I was asked to leave the Republican State convention by the comms woman. Was I making a scene? No, I was merely chatting with some people, but I suspect my Bigfoot hat, Repo Man t-shirt, and coffee-stained pants sent out visual cues that I was NOT someone who paid the $300 dollars to attend this hilarious convention.

When asked, I told the woman I was a journalist, but, alas, the registration had allegedly closed for media. I say “allegedly” because this aggressive comms woman ALSO tried to deny access to the woman I was with, which was both a mistake AND a gift.

I actually wasn’t planning on writing about this Republican convention, but the gift of getting the boot from that location meant I was able to attend the Pachyderm meeting on the other side of town, and THAT turned out to be quite fortuitous. Why? Because I met some REAL patriots and learned about a new political cut-out trying to pre-position itself to exploit non-partisan anger, and this entity is called No Labels.

A knowledgeable political insider claimed this group is connected to Charlie Black and represents the next attempt by Republican “never-Trump’ers” to mobilize against Trump’s political ambitions. A similar effort by political operators like this, known as the Lincoln Group, didn’t end well because of some of the creeps involved. With that in mind, here is some context on who Charlie Black is:

Charlie is best known as one of America’s leading Republican political strategists. He served as senior advisor to both President Ronald Reagan and President George H.W. Bush. In 1990, Charlie served as chief spokesman for the Republican National Committee and served as a principal public spokesman for President Bush in the 1992 presidential campaign. He served on President George W. Bush’s 2000 and 2004 campaigns as a volunteer political advisor and surrogate spokesman. During the 2008 election cycle, Charlie served as the senior political advisor to Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign.

An attorney with more than 40 years of experience in government, public affairs and politics, Charlie has managed the successful elections of several U.S. Senators and Members of Congress. He served as political director of the Republican National Committee under Chairman Bill Brock.

Currently, Charlie serves on the boards of directors of the U.S. Air Force Academy Foundation and the Fund for American Studies; he received the Fund’s Lifetime Service Awards in 2007. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the American Association of Political Consultants in 2010. In 2013, Charlie received the Bryce Harlow Foundation Business-Government Relations Award, the most prestigious honor given to government relations professionals.

A native of North Carolina, Charlie is a member of the North Carolina Bar. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Florida and a Juris Doctorate from The American University. Charlie resides in Alexandria, Virginia with his wife, Judy.

The fascinating struggle Republican power brokers are trying to navigate is how to harness the energy of Trump supporters while simultaneously marginalizing Trump’s direct influence on the party. This is more difficult in a state like Montana, so maybe that is the reason someone thought it was a good idea (Steve Daines, I am told) to feature Stephen Miller as the keynote speaker for Montana Republicans on Friday.

Those who follow politics are probably aware of Miller’s stamp on the Trump administration. For those who don’t follow the sewer that forms fecal golems like the “man” seen above, here is a little something from Wikipedia (emphasis mine):

In November 2016, Miller was named national policy director of Trump’s transition team.[49] On December 13, 2016, the transition team announced that Miller would serve as Senior Advisor to the President for Policy during the Trump administration.[50] He was initially given responsibility for setting all domestic policy, but quickly assumed responsibility for immigration policy only.[51][52] Since becoming one of three Senior Advisors to the President, Miller has been regarded as the adviser who shaped the Trump administration’s immigration policies.[53]

In the early days of Trump’s presidency, Miller worked with Senator Jeff Sessions, Trump’s nominee for Attorney General, and Steve Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist, to enact policies through executive orders to restrict immigration and crack down on sanctuary cities.[54] Miller and Bannon preferred executive orders to legislation.[51] Miller’s and Sessions’s views on immigration were influenced by anti-immigration groups like the Federation for American Immigration Reform, NumbersUSA, and the Center for Immigration Studies.[55] Miller and Bannon were involved in the formation of Executive Order 13769, which sought to restrict U.S. travel and immigration by citizens of seven Muslim countries, and suspend the United States Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for 120 days, while indefinitely suspending entry of Syrians to the United States.[7][8][9] Miller has been credited as the person behind the Trump administration’s decision to reduce the number of refugees accepted into the United States.[10][56]

I’ll get to immigration later in the post, but first, the REAL reason Miller spoke on Friday, I am told, is because of the woman he married. To understand the Montana connection, here’s an excerpt from a Vanity Fair article about how Stephen Miller met, and married, Katie Waldman. Longtime Zoom Chron readers should note a quote from the self-disappeared Democrat partisan, Don Pogreba. From the first link (emphasis mine):

Waldman, meanwhile, had become press secretary for Montana senator Steve Daines. Though Daines praised her “very strong personality” and “incredible work ethic,” Montana Post editor Don Pogreba recalls an approach that was immature and pedantic. When he tweeted that a congressional bill to get rid of Obamacare could kill 25,000 people, she scolded him for his “dangerous rhetoric” and tweeted back, “Where in the bill does it say that? Point me to that bill text.” She moved on to bigger things. In late 2017 she landed a job in communications at the Department of Homeland Security, just before Kirstjen Nielsen took over as secretary. Among its roles, the department oversaw the security of the Southern border—Stephen Miller’s life obsession.

By 2018 migrants from Central America were approaching the border by the tens of thousands. From his perspective, the only way to deter people from coming to the border would be for them to see families suffer as vividly as possible. Miller just needed to wrest control away from DHS. For several months, working with the heads of ICE and border security, he tried to get Nielsen to sign off on a zero-tolerance memo—which would effectively lead to family separation. “Stephen was particularly trying to insert himself into the communications shop,” says a former DHS official. “He had this thing about calling everyone and trying to get the answer he wanted.” He found that person in Katie Waldman.

This connection–one I was not previously aware of–is putting the Montana Republican obsession with the Southern border in a new light for me. And to think, if it WASN’T for the comms enforcer, I may have missed this intriguing development with inept Republican leadership in Big Sky Country.

Speaking of inept leadership, the woman who is most responsible for ensuring Missoula remains a ONE PARTY town is currently defending her leadership position. Will Vondene Kopetski survive the political reckoning coming for her? Early reports are no, she did not.

One of the things Kopetski was supposed to do was prove she was the legitimate chairperson with documentation. I don’t believe that happened, so in a late-morning meeting on Saturday Vondene was apparently ousted. Let’s see if local media reports on this at all.

If all this isn’t interesting enough, I’m going to end this post with a podcast episode I suggest giving a listen to. You can easily dismiss it, since the podcast is called Tin Foil Hat, but I found the guest, Mel K, has an interesting take on immigration worth listening to (video at the link).

If you appreciate MY take on local issues, Travis’ Impact Fund (TIF) is one way to support my work, and making a donation at my about page is another.

Thanks for reading!

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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4 Responses to The Myth Of Montana’s Republican Super Majority

  1. Mrs Stitch says:

    Whose idea was it to go nonpartisan? It wasn’t the GOP’s though they immediately benefited. It was supposed to benefit Greens who who couldn’t stomach association with the old labor Democrats. Then they took over the party anyway.

    Nonpartisan was always nonsense.

    • John Kevin Hunt says:

      Greens most certainly have not taken over the Democratic Party. And nonpartisan elections predate the Green Party (though not with respect to Montana nonpartisan municipal elections).

  2. John Kevin Hunt says:

    HOORAY for Kopetski’s ouster!

    Miller is a ‘horrible person’ (to appropriate a Trumpism). I wish you had used the photo of him during a TV intervuiew in which he had literally spray-painted a hairline
    onto tis forehead and it melted, running down his face.

    BTW, you might want to look up Darrow v. Missoula County Democratic Central Committee (et al), in which Executive Board meetings of the MCDCC were held by a District Court Judge of the Fourth Judicial District (Missoula County) following interlocutory rulings by the Montana Supreme Court, to fall within the ambit of the Open Meetings Act and that accordingly, anyone could both attend and record those meetings. That ruling may assist you in gaining access to some of these convocations, although many could remain off limits because the First Amendment has been held to immunize political parties from most regulation.

    You’re right: considering that only so many minutes comprise one’s life, the TWO HOURS required to watch something entitled “The Uniparty and the Marxist Red Guard of America” doesn’t entice me to lose those irretrievable hours by watching it.

    Nonetheless, I’ve watched one of this guy’s podcasts before, so I did watch about 15 minutes of it. On the plus side: the content blasting American capitalism; illuminating the bankster cartel; railing about Trump’s appointment of a Blackrock CEO as Fed Head; correctly identifying Blackrock and Vanguard for the criminal oligarchies they are; recounting direct retaliation from FB, Apple, et al, and fingering Saudi Arabia as a greater econimic threat to the U.S. than China, are spot on. On the downside: the host and his featured guest are politicially illiterate, adopt the silly mythology about “wokism,” and fly off into Internet myths about The Great Reset, etc. When this guy says he is grateful for capitalism because he can put out a podfast that pays his bills, he shows that he doesn’t know what capitalism is. Using one’s own initiative and labor power to produce something that generates personal revenue, without exploiting the surplus value of others’ labor power, isn’t capitalism. I nearly shut it off when this dude said that the initial essence of ‘wokism’ was to gain equal treatment for everybody, which he felt had been attained some time ago, and went on to say that now every generation wants to push it further to gain special rights. He may be auditioning to be Ignorant Privileged White Male Poster Boy (and the hip hop cap). But what reflexively caused me to terminate watching, was the promotion of crypto currency schemes. VERDICT: I learned nothing new in 15 minutes and shut it off, thereby not wasting 1.75 hours I can never get back.

    I am guessing the title of this edition of Zoom Chron Blog relates to the division among the wussies comprising the Republican Party, i.e. those horrified by Trump’s treasonous acts (or who merely find them extremely inconvenient), vs. the sycophants who continue to go down on their Fascist leader including those like Kevin McCarthy who condemned Trump when (and the day after) McCarthy’s life was in danger during the attempted fascist putsch. 99% of them are cowards with no love of country or Constitution and are concerned solely with their own, individual, prosperity.

    That is really all rather academic considering that the protofascist Republican Party votes in lockstep 98% of the time, and has become what Noam Chomsky accurately labeled “the most dangerous organization in history.”

    Moreover, it is simply impossible for a rational person to consider the consistent lockstep votes by Montana legislative Republicans in the last session and then conclude that the Republican (double) supermajority in the Montana Legislature is a myth. It’s how they vote that determines such a thing. One would have to be under the influence of some very mind-altering drugs in order to conclude that said supermajority is a “myth.”

  3. TC says:

    I appreciate you my Brother (few bucks in the kitty to prove). Keep doing the Lord’s work you do (and giving me a platform to talk my shit. Love that JC thinks ive done nothing to help issues and legal beagle has been here a minute and doesnt know what Blackbirds were. To paraphrase a quote “WTF” . Yeah man WTF)
    Love this community)
    Thank you my Brother

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